2014 Palette of the Year

Color Story
In home and in fashion, color is taking a turn, and the mood is energetic, fresh, and sophisticated. Blues, warmed by nature's green, yellow, and lavender, are key. Better Homes and Gardens translates this inspiration into a palette for 2014 that's pretty, comfortable, and truly livable.

The Colors

Delphinium Blue: A midrange blue is like a pair of comfy jeans -- it's timeless and looks great with anything. Paint Color: Blue Jean, 2062-50, benjaminmoore.com


Cobalt Blue: It's the biggest news in fashion, wearable for anyone and any room. We borrowed ours from the midnight sky. Paint color: Indigo Cloth, 4009-7, valspar.com


Better than Beige: This naturally warm hue is like pebbles in sand. Paint color: Navajo White, D12-1, olympic.com


Poppy: This pretty poppy explores the trend of adventurous brights. Paint color: Haiku, 4-7, prattandlambert.com


Sunny Yellow: Hello, optimism. Pulled from the sun, our energetic yellow brings a happy mood. Paint color: Sunday Afternoon, T14-19, behr.com


Leaf Green: This leaf-inspired hue is just like the greens in nature -- a colorful neutral. Paint color: Elm Valley, B32-6, acehardware.com


Lilac: Orchid, plum, lavender -- there's a bumper crop of purples out there. Gray undertones in our lilac pick make it easy to live with. Paint color: Obi Lilac, SW6556, sherwin-williams.com

How We Chose the Palette

How'd we do it? We went through dozens of trend forecasts, a frequent-flier log of trade show visits (including the Color Marketing Group's international summit), and hundreds of paint chips, for starters. Then we adjusted tones and intensities to offer hues that are livable and lasting. Color pro Kate Smith of Sensational Color took a peek. "These hues can be combined into an almost unlimited number of personalized schemes," Smith says. So dive in -- have fun creating your own colorful home.

What's the trick to color you'll love to come home to? Better Homes and Gardens' Eddie Ross tells you how to get livable color in your home. These decorating tips will help you use color confidently and effectively for a look that wows.

Livable Color

This palette is designed to be oh-so-livable. Eddie Ross, East Coast editor for Better Homes and Gardens, explains what makes a color palette livable and how you can get livable color in your home.


Go to the next slides to see how we bring the palette to life.

A Living Room with Layers of Color

Layering colors from our Palette of the Year, this living room is on-trend and oh-so-livable. Here's the tricks that make it work:

Keep Calm. Adding color doesn't have to mean painting walls a head-turning hue. Neutrals are an easy-to-live-with backdrop for color elsewhere. And no worries about a cold, stark feel -- today's neutrals are shifting back to classic warm tones.

Set It Off. Try white trim rather than the same neutral as the walls. Contrast makes a room's traditional elements feel fresh.

Expand Your Neutral Zone. Think neutral always means beige or gray? Think navy -- the blue on our sofa grounds bright yellow and coral. But its dialed-back intensity means there's no danger of it reading as a "black hole" in an otherwise light, pretty room.

A Living Room with Layers of Color

Invite Mingling. Colors -- and rooms -- are more interesting when you vary patterns and textures. Here, botanicals mix with geometrics, muslins pair with velvets.

Be natural. Count on plants for an easy hit of color. Other natural elements inject warmth, like bamboo blinds that echo sisal carpet.

A Living Room with Layers of Color

Dip a Toe In. Because it's down below eye level -- not in your face -- a rug is the perfect place for an infusion of color.

Get Some Glimmer. Metals bring a bit of on-trend sparkle, and gold is big in both home and fashion. Mix metals and finishes for a modern look.

Refresh a Bedroom

Bedroom a little dull? Revive it with color. Here's how:

Try a surprise combo. Pantone and paint pros are pumped about purple, so take it beyond a child's room. Paired with classic navy, lavender is all grown up.

Perfect your accent. Use a deep shade from your paint chip for an accent wall, then dial back a couple of shades for the other walls to keep a light, livable look.

Top it off. Master the look of mixed bedding. The key is repetition, with a twist. Lavender from the wall shows up in a pillowcase pattern. Coral softens from punchy on the coverlet to muted and peachy on the pillows. Neutral navy on shams and a throw pulls everything together.

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